Gardens of the Prague Castle
The verdure around Prague Castle today consists of six gardens. Along the northern face wall there is the historically most valuable of the gardens - Royal Garden, stretching to the west there is a modern garden next to the building of the Riding School and still further on there is Lumbe Garden, now used as a Castle nursery garden.
The northern gardens of Prague Castle are also part of the entire complex of the Upper- and Lower Stag Moat. There is a continuous garden belt below the southern face wall creating the Paradise Garden and Garden on the Ramparts - which also includes the adjacent Hartig Garden. On the north-western edge of the Castle there is a little gem - Garden on the Bastion.
1. Royal Garden
Royal Garden was laid out in 1534 on the orders of the Habsburg Ferdinand I. From the owners he gradually bought old vineyards beyond the valley of the Brusnice stream and had a Renaissance garden laid out here, which later became famous for its rare botanical specimens and the exotic plants gained from distant countries. From the very beginning there were situated a number of buildings serving the entertainment of the nobility: the Ball Game Pavilion, the Royal Summer House, the Lion Court. Currently the garden follows the tradition of an "English-style" park created in the mid 19th century, but it also contains elements of Renaissance character (giardinetto near the Royal Summer House) as well as Baroque elements (ornamental flower beds). It can be approached via four entrances, the western gates from the street U Prasneho mostu (By the Powder Bridge), the northern gate near the Royal Summer Palace and the eastern gate from the Chotek Park.
2. Garden on the Terrace of the Riding School
This garden was built from 1950-1956 on the roof garages and car workshops of the President's Office. The garden is completely arranged by Castle's gardeners.
3. Garden on the Bastion
This garden covers the area at the entrance to the Spanish Hall. Currently the garden is laid out according to the design by architect Josip Plecnik in the style of Italian and Japanese gardens. The name of the garden recalls the older mediaeval bulwarks on the north-western side of Prague Castle. The garden can be approached from the Powder Bridge past the northern wing of Prague Castle above the Upper Stag Mote, or from the opposite direction from Hradcany square (Hradcanske namesti).
The Southern Gardens
The Southern Gardens were established gradually in the location of bulwarks beneath Prague Castle. Following the latest reconstruction projects at the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century it is now possible to walk through the Southern Gardens and make a circular tour round Prague Castle, from the west starting on the Hradcany square (Hradcanske namesti) to the look-out point Opys near the east gate.
4. Paradise Garden
The first garden in front of the southern face wall of the Castle linked to the private garden of Archduke Ferdinand dates from the fifties of the 16th century. Architect Plecnik designed the current image of the sunny southern garden in the twenties of the 20th century. It can be approached from the Hradcany square (Hradcanske namesti) or from the opposite direction from the Garden on the Ramparts.
5. Garden on the Ramparts
This garden, cultivated as a natural park in the mid 19th century, formed a green belt beneath most of the southern face wall of Prague Castle and has currently been restored according to the design by architect Plecnik. The garden can be approached from the New Castle Stairs (Nove zamecke schody) via the Paradise Garden (Rajska zahrada), or from the Old Castle Stairs (Stare zamecke schody) from Opys view point. There is a third entrance from the third Castle courtyard via the Bull Steps (Byci schody) which leads to the garden via the central platform of the Garden on the Ramparts.
6. Hartig Garden
The Hartig Garden with a Music Pavilion was joined to the Garden on the Ramparts in the sixties of the 20th century. Its current image hails back to 1965 designed by architects Adolf Bens and Richard Podzemny. The approach is from the garden On the Ramparts.